Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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Meet Me at Midnight

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Bean Creative (

'Meet Me at Midnight' is an interactive online adventure that takes place in an animated Smithsonian American Art Museum. A strong and creative narrative concept engages users with artwork in the museum's collection and an art history mystery of art run amok. An artwork - the dreaded Root Monster - comes alive and wreaks havoc in the galleries overnight. Visitors choose a friend ? a character that has been separated from its artwork ? to help aright the mixed-up museum and find its way back home. Every friend takes kids on a vivid journey through the museum's art collection, while imparting key concepts in American art and encouraging them to visit the Museum to see artworks in person. The mystery takes place in five sequential galleries - each with an artwork puzzle to solve or an artist-match game based on the art concepts learned. The five gallery topics always follow the same order?media, technique, design, purpose, and culture, and each provides a clue to unlock the mystery. The 'adventure' premise of helping a work of art find its home by learning about its characteristics works really well. The visual interface provides the experience of taking a trip through what feels like the actual museum building, with varied and interesting graphics. The ability to 'Stop for Now' and save progress helps encourage return visits.

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